Test Kitchen Hong Kong 158A Connaught Road West, Shop 3, Sai Ying Pun Hong Kong
With experience in some of Asia’s finest kitchens and a refined, innovative take on cuisine of his youth, David Ko is set to present one of Test Kitchen’s most locally-focused and innovative pop-ups.
The dynamic young chef has worked at legendary spots including L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong and Rockpool and Movida in Sydney.
His menu is inspired by everyday “Cha Chaan Teng” dishes, which represent Hong Kong day-to-day dining, similar to brasseries or bistros in France.
Chef David Ko, “While chefs from different countries are honouring their heritage, as a Hong Konger cooking professionally in globally-renowned kitchens for almost a decade, I sometimes felt I was replicating dishes from Europe. I’m so excited to take this opportunity to honor my heritage by presenting my versions of some of the most iconic Cha Chaan Teng dishes.”
Vincent Mui, founder of Test Kitchen, is hugely excited at the next menu that Hong Kong diners are set to experience: “There’s no more iconic dining institution in Hong Kong than the Cha Chaan Teng and what David has done to re-invent them is nothing short of extraordinary. The dishes are absolutely stellar, using the finest ingredients to deliver playful, delicious and memorable takes on these classics.”
“Irregular” Set Menu
Uni & Deep Fried Egg 海膽、炸蛋
Uni and Deep Fried Egg; we kick off the menu with egg and toast, first coated the sous vide egg yolk with breadcrumbs, it gives the crunch and an explosion of creaminess, follow by the Uni for a luxurious flavor of ocean to this ordinary breakfast one-two-punch.
Capellini & Chilled Consomme 天使麵、冰涼法式煙肉清湯
In a “regular set”, next to a plate of white toast and scrambled egg, there would usually have been a bowl of pasta(macaroni or spaghetti) in a murky MSG broth. This dish gives a refined touch to the pasta in soup, with a consomme made from pancetta, served with capellini and a crunchy julienne of vegetables and ham, served cold to refresh the palette from the hot summer days.
Ravioli in Red Oil 紅油抄手
This is not a typical Cha Chaan Teng dish, but a signature of mine. The dish took inspiration from Red Oil Wonton from Szechuan cuisine, but rather than serving it with chili oil, I have decided to serve with intense shrimp oil and black vinaigrette instead. Tiger prawn with fat pork belly is wrapped in wonton skin, shaped into almost like a tortellini, an elegant way to present my take on the traditional “Red oil” Wonton.
Eel Char Siu 鰻魚叉燒
Back in the days when I was still working at Fish School, eel was always on the menu, but I always wondered what would happen if I marinated the eel for a day or two and roasted it just like a Pork Char Siu; During summer, eel has very high fat content, similar to pork in a certain way, and eel has a very robust flavour character that requires a lot of sweetness and saltiness, similar to pork.
Tea Smoked Aged Pigeon 茶燻熟成乳鴿
Another dish which I created during my days at Fish School, inspired by the Michelin-starred restaurant “The Chairman” where the jasmine tea smoked aroma was memorable. I took the idea and applied different techniques, such as brining, air-drying, dry-aging and charcoal grilling. The result is a simple looking dish yet one with complex flavor.
Wagyu & Rice Lasagna 和牛 與千層「米」
If you stepped into any Chinese restaurant run by a Cantonese family, you would have seen “Beef and Rice Noodle” on a menu. It’s our equivalent to Pad Thai in Thailand. Rather than serving it traditionally, I was inspired by Lasagna, and the layering of ingredients, using wagyu instead of thinly sliced beef.
15 : 15 三 點 三
Needless to say, my take on the iconic Hong Kong “tea set”, the wobbly egg custard that melts in your mouth, with a sablé like a cookie and a quenelle of milk tea ice cream, truly comforting!
Bite size “Pineapple” Bun 一口「菠蘿」包
The Cantonese classic Pineapple Bun famously has no pineapple, but this does. Good things come in 3, so there’s a Faux butter made of pineapple and cream, pineapple syrup, and fresh pineapple, served in a choux bun, a perfect way to finish an “irregular” set.
About our chef:
Ko Loy Yee, better known as David Ko, graduated with a Degree in Journalism & Communication but decided to follow his true passion after being inspired by culinary TV and reading works including “Kitchen Confidential” & “Devil in the Kitchen”.
‘I have always liked food and cooking, and the culture behind food, which eventually started my work at L’atelier de Joel Robuchon where I learnt a lot from both the local cooks and the French head chef. It also gave me the opportunity to work at different restaurants later on in life such as Liberty Private Works II with Vicky Cheng and Rockpool on George in Sydney.
While I respect the subtle flavour of French cuisine, when I worked in MoVida in Sydney I learnt to love to the bold flavours of Spanish cuisine, then at Catalunya I learn even more from Alain Tolosa about technique, both traditional and molecular cuisine. I even got the chance to do a pop-up dinner with Albert Adria and cooks from El Celler de Can Roca.
When I worked at Fish School in Hong Kong under Chris Ma, I cooked without sous vide, used a lot of charcoal grilling, but more importantly was getting the freedom to test and taste different dishes. Now I cook the food that I like the most, the sharing plate, the bold flavor, rustic looking but with refined tastes.”